Alastair Stewart to chair first live TV debate between party leaders

The BBC, Sky News and ITV finalise list of presenters to chair the first live TV debates between par

ITV is likely to call the ITN newsreader Alastair Stewart to quiz Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

Stewart's credentials include leading ITV's coverage of the first Gulf war, and also hosting a long-running Sunday morning political show on ITV. He also spent 16 years as co-presenter of ITV's regional news programme, London Tonight.

Stewart is famous for avoiding a combative approach to interviews. He said he will act as a "moderator" between the political leaders and the "plain folk" who will put questions to the leaders.

Steward however warned that if they dissemble or lie, he will be the toughest policeman on the block.

The BBC may call on David Dimbleby, while the Sky News is likely to go with its heavyweight political editor Adam Boulton for chairing the debates.